St Mary Magdalene † St Bartholomew † St Alban †
Sunday 29th January 2012
Last Saturday some of us attended a day conference sponsored by the diocese on the future Work of the Church in the Diocese (Transforming Presence). The week before we held our own meeting at Barts to discuss our future ministry and, of course, we still await the Parish Review; so I feel as if I am being peppered by meetings, all on much the same subject.
A number of parallel themes have emerged from these meetings. One was Mission in the Community and here the work of Bart’s Centre was highlighted. The Centre is a major bridge between ourselves and the community, and Centre users are seen as stakeholders in the “joint enterprise” of the Centre, rather than simply as tenants or visitors.
A second theme was the importance of Children’s and Youth work. This is always a major issue and much good work goes on, including our Sunday schools and “Stubbers” weekend, but there is scope for more and this could be an area of closer co-operation with other local Churches, and not necessarily C of E churches.
Worship was stressed and we felt open to the possibility of greater variety of worship, perhaps reflecting our own diverse backgrounds. Finally, good and sympathetic pastoral care is essential: we will be looking for a “people person”!
Some of these themes will be discussed further at the Deanery Synod meeting at Barts this Monday and all are welcome to the meeting – not just Synod members. All will be taken on board at DCC and PCC levels over the next weeks, as we prepare the Parish Profile, and I hope each of you will continue to help us with your input into the process.